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New Balance has developed and is currently scaling production of a general-use face mask as urgent demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to intensify across the country. Developed in consultation with local medical and R&D institutions, New Balance produced its first face mask prototype less than a week ago. By mid-April, our goal is to make up to 100,000 units weekly at our Lawrence, MA and Norridgewock, ME factories combined. We are simultaneously advancing our current face mask design and materials specifications to ideally meet FDA requirements and achieve a product that can be confidently used by frontline medical staff who require those criteria.
New Balance is approaching distribution through a combination of direct medical facility coordination and communication at the Massachusetts and Maine state levels, where our factories are located, to help us best understand where our current face mask design fits their supply and demand needs. This is not a commercial opportunity. NB is pursuing break-even pricing and/or or donations for the face mask. This initiative has kept many of our associates proudly engaged during this economic and public health crisis while our traditional retail customers are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In parallel, New Balance is also quickly responding to calls for other PPE including gowns and foot coverings, among other items, with our R&D teams. This includes working toward prototypes and exploring collaborative opportunities that optimize our U.S.-based 3D printing capabilities.
We are proud to combine the industrial R&D expertise and innovative thinking of our associates with our domestic manufacturing resources to work to solve new and extraordinary product challenges, reflecting our brand’s purpose-driven culture and leveraging our skilled American workers in our New England factories.